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Knowing by Perceiving$
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Alan Millar

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198755692.001.0001

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Perception, Experience, and Direct Realism

Perception, Experience, and Direct Realism

(p.43) 3 Perception, Experience, and Direct Realism
Knowing by Perceiving

Alan Millar

Oxford University Press

Direct Realism is the thesis that our perception of mind-independent things is routinely direct. It is true if and only if, routinely, our perception of mind-independent things is not by means of perceiving something that is distinct and separate from those things. This chapter defends Direct Realism. It begins with an examination of reasons that have been given in the past for rejecting it, focusing on Hume and G. E. Moore. There follows a discussion of relationalist versus non-relationalist conceptions of perceptual experience. Particular attention is given to reconciling a non-relationalist conception with Direct Realism. To this end discussion is focused on how perception facilitates perceptual–demonstrative thought. An important role is played by a view of how to understand non-committal descriptions of experiences. This view figures in a response to problems raised by Michael Martin for non-relationist conceptions of experience.

Keywords:   David Hume, Direct Realism, experiences, G. E. Moore, Michael Martin, perception, perceptual–demonstrative thought, relationalism

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